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V. N. Khisamova
This paper deals with

lexical peculiarities of translation humorous works of

English authors, particularly the pun, as one of the most characteristic and
productive means of humor translation into the English language, as well as
difficulties, strategies and techniques of translation of puns into Tatar and Russian.
Key words: Wordplay, humor translation, lexical peculiarities, polysemy,
homonyms, homophones, paronymy.


Bu makele ngiliz yazarlarn mizahi eserlerinin zellikle ngilizcenin en karakteristik ve yaratc alan olan cinasl blmlerinin evirilerindeki szcksel zellikler ve bu cinaslar Tatarca ve Rusaya evirirken yaanan zorluklar, stratejileri ve
teknikleri aratrmaktadr.
Anahtar kelimeler: kelime oyunu, cinas evirisi, szcksel zellikler, okanlamllk, eadllar, esesliler, e kkl szck.


V. N. Khisamova

While translation different cultures, personalities, levels of development, traditions

and attitudes are confronted ( encounter). And the main task of the translator in this
case is to remember about all the difficulties of translation, try to express the
authors idea as closely as possible, at the same time, not to forget to transfer different copyright artistic techniques. As noted by J. Vandayl, translating humor is
qualitatively different from other types of translation. It is necessary to translate
humor source so that it will function as humor in the target culture. The ability of
the translator to make creative decisions in the translation depends on the cultural
background and language device of a specific language.
A good translation of a joke depends on a good imagination of an interpreter.
Lyubimov N. writes: From my point of view, untranslatable wordplay does not
exist and should not exist, for the very rare exceptions. The whole question is in
skill of an interpreter [4, 249.]. Gal N. adds that note untranslatable wordplay is a receipt of an interpreters own powerlessness. Of course, sometimes you really helpless against some really very perplexing problem. In this case we have to sacrifice altogether a wordplay here and maybe return to play in another place, where
the author did not, and the translator thought of something. But the smaller the loss,
the more, of course, better, and its a shame to give up without a fight[2, 136 p.].
A.A. Sherbina classifies puns into three groups:
1) wordplay based on the use of polysemy;
2)wordplay based on the use of homonyms and homoforms;
3)wordplay s based on the use of a rough sound similarity [7, p. 55-56].
Delabastita also subdivided puns depending on the type and degree of similarity
into the following types:
- Homonyms (words identical in spelling but different in meaning);
- Homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings);
- Homographs (words that match in spelling but different in pronunciation);
- Paronyms (semantically different words, some similar in sounding) [11, 128 p.].
In case of translation of wordplay based on polysemy, to create a humorous effect
figurative (metaphorical) meaning of the word, together with its direct oneg is used.
Pun (wordplay) of this kind is usually not difficult for a translation from English
into Tatar. For example:
Whenever a young gentlemen was taken in hand by Doctor Blimber, he might
consider himself sure of a pretty tight squeeze.

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gr tabip Blaymber berr yash gentleman us kulyna alsa, any kysyp totachagy
bilgele ide.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of authority among them, called
out, `Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! Ill soon make you dry enough!
Ahem! said the Mouse with an important air, `are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please! [10].
As for the translation of an episode of Alice in Wonderland into Russian, where
polysemy is also found in the word dry, a play on words in this passage, in our
opinion, is not transmitted very well:
1) , , :
- , . !
- -! - . - ?
. ! !
2) , , , ,
, : !
-! . ?
, - , -
. , ! [9]
Here is another example of English literature, in which word-for-word translation is
used, which is found with most translators while translating common expressions.
Rincewind held his breath. The watching wizards held their breath. Even
Death, who had nothing to hold but his scythe, held it tensely. [12].
. ,
, .
Comic of this passage is based on the ambiguity of the word hold, which has different meanings depending on with which it is combined. The expression to hold
ones breath - is outplayed. The character of Death does
not breathe, so it can not hold breath. To show the intensity of the moment, and
the characters are watching the battle that will decide the fate of the world, the
author shows that even Death feels the tension of the going-on by adding the com37

V. N. Khisamova

bination to hold ones scythe, which in this context looks like a variant of the
original expression. Adding of the adverb tensely - enhances the
comic effect.
Speaking of the interpretation of wordplay based on homonymy and omoformy it is
appropriate, in our view, to seek the opinion of famous Tatar linguists B. Khakova
and K. Sabirova that all varieties of homonyms (absolute homonyms, omoformy,
homophones) and the phenomena close to them (paronyms, homographs) - are
valuable for word play. [5]. Its more interesting if any sudden semantic connection or random semantic contrast between homonyms is detected,- for example,
homonymous rhyme or pun. Here are samples of the Tatar classics:
Yahshylykka erep kitm - balavyz min
Maktap sylim izge eshne - ball avyz min!
Glbanu: Kemg tap Bulda bit! Behr gen cache d any tellren chydy almy
bit! (yly). Hur buldym bit,hur buldym!
Hua (yanynda toryp yuata):H syn uzene hur buluyny yaa beldemeni?
Min so sia egerme yeldn birle shuny ytm ich: syn minem hurym, syn minem
oma hurym, dip!
Boo nindi buldy chi gen ?
Asham yitte chigen:
Shibem kyre chigenIsem kiterde ankay la!
There is an example of wordplay based on homonymy words rack combined rackpunch (arakovy punch) and rack (excruciating headache, torture) in the
novelVanity Fair by William Thackeray.
O, ignorant young creatures! How little do you know the effect of rack-punch!
What is the rack in the punch at night to the rack in the head of morning?
One can hardly find Tatar homonyms, one of which would be associated with alcohol, and the second with a headache. When translated into the Tatar language weve
got this:
Hay tribsez yash duslarym! Nichek az belsez sez iserkch tesire turynda!
Kichtn echelgn akbash belen irtn avyrtkan bash arasynda nindi urtaklyk

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In the following examples the translators managed to use the wordplay, selecting in
the Russian language if not verbatim, but quite adequate homonyms, preserving
thus the pun in the target language.
I dare say you never even spoke to Time!
Perhaps not, but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.
Ah! That accounts for it, he wont stand beating [10].
L. Carroll uses wordplay to beat time - , a pun based on the device
of destruction of phraseological unity and use of the basic meaning of the verb to
beat - .
In the Russian-language translation N. Demurova uses a
and the basic meaning of the verb :

phraseological unit

- , , !
- , !
- A-! . !

B. Zakhoder uses a phraseological unit in the same way and

the verb in the meaning :
- , , !
- , , , , -
- ! ?! , !
! !
A wordplay on based on partial acoustic similarity or paronymy . one of the most
private functions to create puns.
By-and-by, he said: No, sweethearts, I blieve
Sweetmeats did you say, Mr. Barkis?
In this passage, the carter Barkis asked the little Davy, whether the servant Peggotti
had a lover, but the boy takes the word sweetheart for sweetmeat - sweets. The
word play is based on paronymy of these words, and it is important to note that the
second word means sweets close to the heart the boy and well known to him.

V. N. Khisamova

Given these circumstances, we have tried to replace the image, saving the play of
words in the translation of words into the Tatar language:
Annan achty Barkis sorap kuydy: - any sygne uk mikn?
- Pilmne disezme, Mr. Barkis?
When translated into the Russian language, we also find similarities in the structure
of the word and a. In the proposed translation not root,
as in the original, but affixal morphemes are the same :
- A ? - , Mr. Barkis?
In the Tatar language we also meet pun of the kind. Here is an example of the
famous work Berenche theater by G. Kamal :
Vli: Tylasa, shul men we hzer teatrga kitbez ...
Bibi: Kaya?
Vli: Teatrga!
Bibi: Nrs tyaterg?
Vli: Bash tyaterg!
Heres another example of the kind from the work by O. Henry:
Can you herd sheep? asks the little ranchman.
Do you mean have I heart sheep? says I.
We offer the following translation of the wordplay:
cez saryklar kt belsezme? - dide lege blky adm.
Saryklar rket disezme? -deep gaplndem min.
Here is an example from Carrolls Alice in Wonderland, where he constructed a
pun on paronimity of conformity of products flavors to manifestation of nature:
Maybe its always pepper that makes people hot-tempered, she went on, very
much pleased at having found out a new kind of rule, `and vinegar that makes
them sour - and camomile that makes them bitter - and - and barley -sugar and
such things that make children sweet-tempered. [10].
The most successful translation of this passage is given by N. Demurova, who uses
the consonance of the names of the products and derived verbs:
- , - , - , - , - , - .

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, ... .
- !
In the original, qualities of different spices are played upon , translator, trying to
convey the spirit of the author, uses the so-called childrens etymology, based on
the root wordplay. N. Demurova created her own pun, close to certain characteristics of the authors pun used.
In the novel David Copperfield by Ch. Dickens little Davys maid often mispronounces English words. This feature of her speech is to be to conveyed in translation, especially it is highlighted in the following passage:
I ought to have made it, perhaps, but I couldnt azackly, that was always the
substitute for exactly, in Peggotys militia of words - bring my mind to it.
If you do not convey the wrong pronunciation of the word exactly, youll have to
throw out all the authors words. This would be a serious deviation from the original. How could such a distortion be conveyed in translation?
Phonetic form of possible Tatar contextual matching to English word exactly is
too simple and can not be distorted in the pronunciation, but in this case it is important to translate the word exactly literally , which does not have a special meaning in the original text , but to show Pegottis mispronounciation of difficult words,
so we can give up the exact translation of the word exactly and compensate for
this loss by use of a completely different word in which a poorly educated man
would naturally make a mistake in terms of the Tatar language:
Blki min mony eshlrge d tiesh bulganmyndyr, tik hilbuki - Peggotti telend
bul rvakyt hlbuki dignne alata ideal - z-zemne Kulgu ala almaden.
In the Tatar language there are a lot of pronunciation variants, which can no longer
claim to be a literary pronunciation, but they may appear an expressive touch, bright
paint in the depiction of the image of the character as well as we observed in the
above-mentioned example proposal of the English work: Yoke, jok,j, lbitt
instead of yuk (not), ya (well), lbtt ( of course).
A wordplay based on the use of homophones (words that different in writing, but
sound the same ) is very common in English literature. In particular, the latter is
found in most works by T. Pratchets:
Religion is all very well, but what do prophets know about profits, eh? [13]

V. N. Khisamova

When confronted with certain untranslatable pun in the original text, the translator
can always choose compensatory strategy by inserting a pun where it was not, or
use other tools, causing humor. The pun is lost in this Russian-language translation
, but the translator finds the way out by playing on rhyming words prophets and
- , ,
Heres another example of the same author:
My name, she said at last, is Miss Tick. And I am a witch. Its a good name for
a witch, of course.
You mean blood-sucking parasite? Said Tiffany, wrinkling her forehead.
Im sorry? said Miss Tick, coldly.
Ticks, said Tiffany. Sheep get them. But if you use turpentine-
I meant that it sounds like mystic, said Miss Tick.
Oh, you mean a pune, or play on words, said Tiffany. In that case it would be
even better if you were Miss Teak, a hard foreign wood, because that would
sound like mystique, or you could be Miss Take, which would- [14].
When translated into the Russian language interpreter can not save all the variety of
puns associated with the name of the heroine, so the translator has resorted to the
division copyright puns, first playing on words by tracing and then by use of similar-sounding names of Russian food and resorts to allusions to Russian folk tale
about Kaschei Immortal, making translation appropriate for the audience:
, , , . ,
. , .
, .
? .
. , , ,
, , .
, , , .
, .
. , ,

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A successful authors pun and no less successful the translation is found in the work
Alice in Wonderland:
When we were little ... we went to school in the sea. The master was an old
Turtle - we used to call him Tortoise -
Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasnt one? Alice asked.We called him
Tortoise because he taught us. [10].

In translating this passage N. Demurova used instead of the word tortoise - the
name of the turtle other marine animals - octopus, thus preserving the authors etymology. As well as the original of the author, the translator creates a pun based on
the name of the character and the verb-object combinations.
Accordingly, wordplay based on multiple meanings of a word, is not usually too
much difficult in the translation from English into Russian and Tatar.
Often the corresponding words in the target language have the same direct and
indiBut as for a wordplay the author uses real homonyms, sometimes they can be
very difficult to translate. The form of the original - a phonetic and / or graphics is
to be put in other words. Moreover, often the content for the sake of form has to be
changed. This is necessary because, for a full translation of work of art plan of
expression may be more important than the content. This one- hundred- percent
faithful translation, that is, conveying the same content, without changing the
shape, can be achieved relatively rare, as between played- on words of the source
language and correlative units of translation language not just the equivalent relationship, but full equivalence with coverage of two or more values must exist [1,
290.]. The only way to convey this wordplay is a way of replacing the contextual
translation. Such a replacement is not an easy matter, requiring from an interpreter
great creativity and linguistic flair.
The problem of replacing the image is relatively easy to solve when a pun is based
on the words that are only partially sound the same .
If the author uses the colloquial pronunciation variants of a word, which is an
expressive touch, bright paint in the depiction of the image, you can give up the
exact translation of the word and to compensate for this loss by use of a completely different word, which would correspond to the idea of author of the original.


V. N. Khisamova
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